The JNHT hosted its first Taino Day on May 4, 2007, at Seville Heritage Park in St. Ann. This observance seeks to commemorate the life and legacy of the indigenous people of Jamaica, who were formally referred to as the Arawaks. Taino Day was a part of the JNHT’s annual observance of Encounter Day, which served to highlight the meeting of the various worlds or cultures that contribute our history and ethnic composition, including the Spanish, English, Africans, and Tainos. In 2007, the JNHT decided to place more emphasis on the historical significance of the Tainos and their contribution to our history. Activities to mark the celebration normally include lectures and discussions, an exhibition of Taino artifacts, and display and sampling of Taino food.
Through the staging of Taino Day, the JNHT aims to increase public awareness of the contribution of the Tainos to Jamaica and strengthen the mechanisms for the retention of the Taino heritage.
In 1997 to commemorate the re-establishment of Emancipation Day, the JNHT held its first Emancipation Jubilee on the grounds of the Seville Heritage Park on July 31. The first Jubilee was a three-day event which paid tribute to four enslaved Africans whose remains were excavated from the African Village at Seville. Douglas Armstrong along with his archaeological team from Syracuse University, New York, in collaboration with the JNHT, excavated the site from 1987 to 1991. The four burials consisting of three males and one female were found within the house-yard compounds. Two of the men were in their twenties and the other in his forties. The female fondly called Crystal was in her late teens. After the remains were exhaustively studied the remains were reburied on the grounds of Seville on Emancipation Day 1997. The following year, the remains of Crystal was taken back to Ghana. Since 1997 Emancipation Jubilee has served as the flagship event which honors the end of African enslavement and the beginning of freedom. The event showcases the best of Jamaica’s culture both intangible and tangible and is now one of the most anticipated national cultural events.
The Heritage Expo is a yearly event at Seville Heritage Park that is geared towards the schools of Jamaica in keeping with the National Heritage Week celebrations. Children are treated to a day of fun and educational activities in an effort to revitalize the Jamaican heritage among the youths of our society.
Located approximately 1km from the town of St. Ann’s Bay, Seville with its breathtaking view of the Caribbean Sea, is ideally located for events such as weddings, small functions, family fun day, and other events.